Swimming: Watch Kids Around Water this Summer

Rey Castillo
Alice Echo News Journal

The Texas Department of Family and Protective Services urged parents and caregivers to take proactive steps to protect children in and around water especially with summer upon South Texas.

With children drowning in Texas each year, following are some tips to remember this summer when taking a loved one to the beach or pool. 

For children who don’t know how to swim, check with local resources for swimming lessons. Also, as a parent, if you don’t know how to swim, taking lessons with your children can make it a fun family activity, said Mary Ann Cortinas, a DFPS Child Safety Specialist.

Jase Johnson brushes up on swimming skills thanks to a partnership between the Alice Rotary Club and YMCA.

"Children can drown in as little as a couple of inches of water, in just a matter of moments, so it’s important to be just as vigilant at home, as it is at swimming pools, lakes, rivers, beaches or any body of water a child can access," Cortinas said. “Even if they know how to swim, a child could hit their head, become tired and into trouble. There should always be an adult supervising a child around water."

Parents can also take additional preventative safety measures, such as to secure water areas by installing fences or latching gates around hot tubs, pools or fountains. Back doors and pet doors should always be kept locked to prevent children from finding their way to a pool or hot tub. Pool alarms also can be used to detect surface waves to alert parents to a child or pet falling in the water.

Never leave children unsupervised, and don’t rely on flotation devices to protect children, even in shallow water.

In the past six years, the total number of annual child drowning fatalities in the state has ranged from 77 to 107:

2020: 80

2019: 87

2018: 91

2017: 77

2016: 107

2015: 75

For more information on child water safety www.watchkidsaroundwater.org  and for other parenting tips, visit getparentingtips.com.